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Case no. 6.

G.R. No. 129824 March 10, 1999


DE PAUL/KING PHILIP CUSTOMS TAILOR, AND/OR MILAGROS CHUAKAY and WILLIAM GO, petitioners,
vs.
THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION (NLRC), et al.
Facts: Private respondents are employees of petitioners. They formed a labor organization, affiliating
themselves with Federation of Free Workers, calling themselves FFW-kapatirang Manggagawa sa De
Paul/King Philip customs Tailor. On march 1993, the union filed a notice of strike due to unfair labor
practice. On 6 April 1993, the union president, private respondent Victoriano Santos, stopped working.
This was followed by the "walk out" of the other private respondents from their jobs on 12 April 1993.
On 13 May 1993, the union filed against the petitioners a case for unfair labor practice, illegal dismissal
and non-payment of overtime pay before the NLRC National Capital Region Arbitration Branch.
On 21 June 1993, private respondents disaffiliated from the FFW. The disaffiliation was caused by the
failure of FFW to send a representative in two hearings of the case of the private respondents before
the labor arbiter.
Private respondents claimed that they were previously warned by the petitioners not to organize a
union, nor be a member of the same. Otherwise, they will be dismissed. Nevertheless, they still formed
the said union.
Petitioners denied dismissing the respondents, arguing further that the respondents walked out from
their jobs to prepare for a strike to extort money from them. Petitioners contend that they sent notices
to respondents to return to work, save two workers who refused to accept the same.
Respondents denied having received any notice to return to work. They alleged that they were even
prevented to enter the premises of the work place and were threatened by hired policemen who
possessed fake warrants of arrest.
The labor arbiter dismissed the complaint of the respondents for illegal dismissal. Appeal, however, was
granted to respondents, making the petitioners liable for illegal dismissal. Thus, requiring the petitioners
to pay back wages plus actual reinstatement of the dismissed employees.
Issue: W/N the petitioners are liable for illegal dismissal.
Held: Yes. It must be stressed that abandonment of work does not per se sever the employer-employee
relationship. It is merely a form of neglect of duty, which is in turn a just cause for termination of
employment. The operative act that will ultimately put an end to this relationship is the dismissal of the
employee after complying with the procedure prescribed by law. If the employer does not follow this
procedure, there is illegal dismissal.
The findings negate the claim interposed by the petitioners that private respondents abandoned their
jobs. Abandonment, as a just and valid ground for dismissal means the deliberate and unjustified refusal
of an employee to resume his employment. The burden of proof is the employer to show an
unequivocal intent on the part of the employee to discontinue employment. The intent cannot be lightly
inferred or legally presumed from certain ambivalent acts. For abandonment to be a valid ground for
dismissal, two elements must be proved: the intention of an employee to abandon, coupled with an
overt act from which it may be inferred that the employee has no more intent to resume his work.
Case no. 21
G.R. No. 156893 June 21, 2005
COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS., INC., NATALE DI COSMO, RENE HORILLENO, and BENITO A. DE LEON,
petitioners,
vs.
GOMERSENDO P. DANIEL, respondent.
Facts: Respondent is a security guard in the Calamba plant for 13 years for petitioner company. Two
incidents happened that lead to his dismissal. First was when he failed to inspect a van before leaving
the plant, which was his duty and a company policy. Second was when he allowed a van to leave the
plant without a tarpaulin cover, thus endangering the quality of the goods of the petitioner. Petitioners
contend that Daniel is guilty of deliberate and wilful disobedience of company rules and regulations, or
serious misconduct, or wilful breach of trust and confidence, thus, respondents employment was
terminated. Respondent filed a case for illegal dismissal against Coca-Cola which the latter denied
committing the same.
Issue: 1) whether a valid cause existed to justify the dismissal of respondent; (2) whether he is entitled
to reinstatement and back wages.
Ruling: 1) None. Neither of the two infractions committed by Daniel caused substantive loss or damage.
Their company policy does not warrant dismissal for such infractions. Also worth stressing are the
following facts: Daniel has served the company for 13 years; he was previously granted a scholarship
given only to employees with high performance ratings; his infractions were minor; and there has been
no showing that he acted in bad faith or with malice. Under the circumstances, there is every
justification for tilting the scales of justice in favor of the employee.
2) Yes. Article 279 of the Labor Code, as amended, mandates that illegally dismissed employees are
entitled to both 1) reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and other privileges; and 2) full back
wages, inclusive of allowances and other benefits or their monetary equivalent, from the time their
compensation was withheld from them up to the time of their actual reinstatement. Both reliefs are
rights granted by substantive law to alleviate the economic hardships suffered by an illegally dismissed
employee. The grant of one does not preclude the other.
Also, there is no showing that the relationship between the parties are strained so as to not reinstate
Daniel as an employee. From these facts, we hold that the doctrine of strained relations finds no
application in the case at bench. As the NLRC observed, not only were [respondents] infractions merely
minor, he did not act in bad faith or with malice when he committed the same; neither did Coca-Cola
sustain material damage or injury as a result thereof.